By Tony Perkins
A month after winning their fourth Super Bowl title, the New England Patriots are stepping onto another turf: the marriage debate. This week, the NFL powerhouse — along with Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays and World Series-winning San Francisco Giants — went on the offensive in the heavy-weight battle for marriage at the U.S. Supreme Court.
In a brief signed by 370 other businesses, the Patriots, Rays, and Giants went on the record with their radical views, insisting that “allowing same-sex couples to marry improves employee morale and productivity, reduces uncertainty, and removes the wasteful administrative burdens imposed by the current disparity of state law treatment.” They argue that state laws “that prohibit or decline to recognize marriages between same-sex couples hamper employer efforts to recruit and retain the most talented workforce possible in those states.”
(Apparently, “talent” is now defined by personal views — not professional expertise.) But if the latest polling is any indication, the American people aren’t exactly fans of the teams’ agenda. As the consequences of redefining marriage become more apparent, same-sex “marriage” is falling increasingly out of favor with the country, according to the latest poll by Rasmussen. Over the past year, their researchers found a significant spike in opposition — so much so that the percentage of people now opposing same-sex “marriage” (44%) is higher than those in support (42%). Like us, they probably think the Patriots, Rays, and Giants should stop trying to ref the culture war and get back to the business of major league sports.
Rays President Brian Auld disagrees, saying, “It’s important that we send this signal of inclusion to the entire region… Our players have traditionally been supportive of these kinds of things.”
That’s news to Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy, who is anything but supportive of his sport picking sides in an extremely divisive debate. When the League appointed his teammate (and open homosexual) Billy Bean as its “ambassador of inclusion,” Murphy wasn’t about to sit on the sidelines.
In an interview with NJ.com, he was polite but firm. “I disagree with (homosexuality). That doesn’t mean I can’t still invest in (Billy) and get to know him… (You) can still accept them, but I do disagree with the lifestyle, 100 percent.” When reporters pressed him, he said, “Maybe, as a Christian … we haven’t been as articulate enough in describing what our actual stance is on homosexuality. We love the people. We disagree (with) the lifestyle. That’s the way I would describe it for me… Just because I disagree with the lifestyle doesn’t mean I’m just never going to speak to Billy Bean every time he walks through the door. That’s not love. That’s not love at all.” Daniel’s candor didn’t sit well with team officials, who issued a gag order on their player’s free speech.
“Murphy to talk baseball only,” Wednesday’s ESPN headline read. “New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy will no longer address his religious beliefs and will stick to baseball,” a team spokesman said. So the Rays and Giants can make same-sex “marriage” their official team policy, but a player like Daniel Murphy can’t express his deeply held moral views? A person’s religious convictions have to be hidden but not person’s sexual preference?
Unfortunately this is the kind of double standard we’ve come to expect from the purveyors of “tolerance.” Even in the majority, Christians are the underdog. The players like Daniel Murphy, Don Jones, Matt Birk, David Tyree, and FRC’s Craig James are going out on a limb to stand up for marriage — but soon there won’t be a limb if more Americans don’t stand with them.
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.